still coasting

Sea off Galicia

The blog tag-line says (mostly) first person poetry, prose & opinion, but for the last few weeks, I seem to have written rather more about travelling in Spain; I hope the followers who have signed up during this period aren’t too disappointed when I get back on track.

No doubt I will return in the future to the many photos I have taken of the Costa da Morte and find inspiration there, but, at least for the moment, I’m expecting this to be the last of these travel blog posts.

Sea off Galicia.

I was looking forward to visiting the lighthouse at Fisterra, where I thought I might well recite Carol Ann Duffy’s Prayer to myself. (Incidentally, I think that reading by the poet herself really doesn’t do justice to the poem.)

But then I read this whimsical obituary and discovered that Finisterre was removed from the shipping forecast back in 2002, which I found quite sad, not least because I had been blithely unaware of the fact and had simply assumed that all was well with the world and if only I were to get up and switch on the radio at 5:20, everything would be as it always was.

Fisterra itself was a bit disappointing. We’d just driven down from Touriñán, which boasted el último sol – the final sunset on mainland Europe, so World’s End had already lost some of its glory. Then the lighthouse building was quite broad and squat; it was overlooked by a hotel that boasted a mirador and the car park was dominated by a tacky giftshop kiosk with “no photography” signs blazoned all over.

One thing that caught my eye, though, was this commemorative plaque:

Cap de Creus - Fisterra monument, Fisterra lighthouse, Galicia

At the time, I had no idea what connection there was between Cap de Creus and Fisterra, but I’ve now had a quick rummage through some links on Google and discover that they are the easternmost and westernmost points of continental Spain respectively.

It seems to me, then, that I could do worse than post this poem.

Cap de Creus

The road winds as it climbs
into a sky so blue
you think it’s sea. A turn,
and down below you glimpse
the thunder-coloured water.
Another twist, and up ahead
a shard of light vibrates
above bare rock. You gain the summit, then

towards a sea so blue
it could be sky.

Sea off Galicia.

(In fact none of the photos except the monument were taken at Fisterra, but they do give an idea of the seas off the Galician coast, which are a lot wilder than the landlocked sea off Cap de Creus, even if they are a similar colour.)

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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